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Penny & Lou: Bishop's Stortford café on the market as owner plans move



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Bishop's Stortford's family-friendly café Penny & Lou is up for sale.

The leasehold of the South Street premises – formerly occupied by barber Kiernander & Co and, before that, Fishy Biz fish and chip shop – is on the market for £45,000 with Intelligent Business Partners, Leeds.

The café was launched in 2019 by Louise Wickens and her mother Penny Rogers to create a homely atmosphere like "having a coffee with a friend in your own kitchen".

Penny and Lou mother and daughter Penny Rogers and Louise Wickens soon after they opened their cafe in 2019. Pic: Vikki Lince
Penny and Lou mother and daughter Penny Rogers and Louise Wickens soon after they opened their cafe in 2019. Pic: Vikki Lince

Penny had previously owned coffee shops in Dedham and Colchester as well as a coffee trailer travelling round shows and festivals, while Louise had run bars and pubs and then worked for Burger chain Byron for six years before fulfilling her dream to run her own business.

She told the Indie: "I'm moving away from Bishop's Stortford with my family. The plan is to set up something similar when we are moved."

During her two years trading in the town, she won praise for introducing a "suspended orders" scheme for customers to buy a hot drink or food in advance for homeless people and others in need, and distributed packed lunches for children missing out on free school meals during lockdown.

Penny and Lou, South Street – Penny Rogers and Lou Wickens provided free packed lunches to those needing them during half term. Pic: Vikki Lince
Penny and Lou, South Street – Penny Rogers and Lou Wickens provided free packed lunches to those needing them during half term. Pic: Vikki Lince

The marketing brochure tells potential buyers the recently-refurbished, 20-seat café has an annual turnover of £78,000 and would be perfect for another family or sole trader to run.

It adds: "The spacious and well-equipped premises have an excellent location... The café has nearby car parking, no local competition and high footfall, which should ensure plenty of trade for the new owner.

"There is huge potential for growth with this business as there is a massive opportunity to extend opening hours, work more events, offer external catering and introduce a delivery service. Expanding the menu and developing the company website could also be beneficial."

In Hockerill Street, daytime café and pizza takeaway La Poire remains for sale with an annual rent of £7,500.

La Poire in Hockerill Street. Pic: Vikki Lince
La Poire in Hockerill Street. Pic: Vikki Lince

On the market with Bishop's Stortford commercial property agent Coke Gearing, the current owner is a one-man band who makes an annual profit of up to £50,000 and has earned five-star reviews on ordering service JustEat.

The South Street premises occupied by the Shadhona Indian restaurant and the Handsome/Gorgeous salon and tanning shop are on the market with a guide price of £1.5m.

As well as the business space on the ground floor, the freehold on offer from London's Barney Estates and Auctioneers includes six one-bed flats above. Together, the commercial and residential rents total around £85,000 a year.

Indian restaurant Shadhona in South Street. Pic: Vikki Lince
Indian restaurant Shadhona in South Street. Pic: Vikki Lince


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